Recapping 2014 JETC!
Posted on May 27, 2014 | By Stephen Karl | Leave a response
The 2014 JETC was a rousing success with nearly 1,600 attendees packing the halls of the Orlando Convention Center. Many thanks to all who attended, to the nearly 100 subject matter experts from across government and industry who led the education sessions, and to the more than 200 exhibitors who showcased their services and products in the Exhibit Hall. Kudos as well to Florida’s Jacksonville, Tampa and Space Coast Posts as well as other volunteers from SAME Posts around the country for their support.
Network, Network, Network!
The conference began Tuesday with a packed schedule of SAME governance and leadership meetings, including the Board of Direction meeting, Committee & Council Chairs meeting, RVP Meeting, and an update on SAME’s STEM and Mentoring Programs. SAME’s Continuing Education Program offered three specialized courses that catered to the cross-cutting interests of SAME membership: the Basics of Business Development, The Total Building Commissioning Process, and Project Risk Management. A highlight of Tuesday’s education and training portion was a technical tour of Port Canaveral, which had nearly 50 attendees getting an inside look at one of the world’s largest cruise port terminals and is currently in the midst of a major construction project. (Another technical tour was held Friday morning, May 23, at the VA Orlando Medical Center.)
Tuesday’s two networking events went off as advertised—giving SAME members a chance to meet and network with colleagues and prospective business partners in a casual environment before the Exhibit Hall opened on Wednesday. The Young Member, NCO and Fellows Networking Event packed the room while JETC attendees at the Annual Ice Breaker had the walk of the “CityWalk.” The Ice Breaker was held at Universal CityWalk under clear skies and plenty of warm air. It is Florida in late May after all!
A Focus on Information Sharing
Wednesday kicked off with a Year in Review with SAME President Rear Adm. Gary Engle, P.E., F.SAME, USN (Ret.), followed by a video tribute to SAME Executive Director Dr. Bob Wolff, P.E., F.SAME, who has announced his plans to retire from the position this year. That was followed by a detailed DOD Executive Panel briefing by Engineering Service Chiefs Lt. Gen. Tom Bostick, P.E., USA, Rear Adm. Kate Gregory, P.E., CEC, USN, and Brig. Gen. Tim Green, P.E., USAF. While the service leaders were consistent in reminding the audience that DOD budgets are down considerably from their peaks of a few years ago, and are likely to fall some more the next couple years, there still remains a considerable amount of support needed from the A/E/C industry to facilitate their programs in support of the nation. And there are growth areas, including overseas and inter-agency work with USACE, especially with regards to infrastructure work for other nations and in support of combatant commanders; energy work with NAVFAC; and beddown programs and services and installation support for the Air Force among other areas.
The Exhibit Hall opened Wednesday morning and strong traffic brought business discussions throughout the room. Small, medium, and large business, and public agencies and industry associations dotted the landscape, offering something for everyone who toured the aisles.
The highlight of Wednesday was the Annual Honors Luncheon, recognizing the achievements of SAME members and servicemen and women to military engineering. A fabulous turnout of award winners (one as far away as Japan!) brought excitement to this prestigious event. Just three of this year’s 30+ award winners were unable to attend. These recipients will be recognized at an upcoming SAME event they are able to attend. Congratulations to all this year’s award winners!
Wednesday afternoon was jam-packed with education and training sessions on topics ranging from BUILDER implementation to contracting in the AOR (a perspective from government); microgrids and energy security; emerging contaminants in environmental remediations; responding to natural disasters; and architectural insight into federal design and construction. And because not everything that
happens at JETC is on the official program, members of the SAME Architectural Practice Committee and other guests received a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney World Wednesday afternoon. Sometimes it’s who you know; other times, it’s being at the right place at the right time. At JETC, you get both!
Recognizing SAME Posts and the New SAME President
Thursday kicked off with the Post Awards Breakfast and Annual Business Meeting. SAME RVPs from around the world recognized the great accomplishments of the past year of all their Posts, including programs supporting Warrior Transitioning and Wounded Warriors; STEM outreach; scholarship contributions; and education, training and networking events for their membership. SAME Posts are tremendous champions at the local and regional level supporting the SAME mission and integral to the society achieving its focus areas, which this past year were Energy & Sustainability, STEM, and Warrior Transition.
A highlight of the Post Awards Breakfast was the swearing in of the new SAME President retired Air Force Colonel John Mogge, Ph.D., RA, F.SAME. Col. Mogge touched on what will be SAME’s three focus areas this year:
- “To ensure that while the defense departments and agencies navigate their way through budget reductions, the society remains vigilant to change, vibrant, and important to its membership by providing the government and sustaining member programs that create value for all.”
- “To continue its voluntary STEM focused outreach and support programs. This vitally important educational objective has long-term implications for America’s youth and the technical strength and economic competitiveness of our nation and the society’s Sustaining Member firms.”
- “To be a ‘force multiplier and change maker’ in helping our veterans (able-bodied and wounded) find meaningful employment in the private and public sectors.”
Education & Training Opportunities
Thursday’s education sessions hit on a number of critical interest areas for SAME members, both in the public and private sector.
Topics covered all corners of the SAME membership, from energy to the environment, design and construction to business development and more, including: current practices with Low-Price/Technically Acceptable contracts; DOD facility design and construction updates; joint engineer doctrine; low-level radiological contamination; how best to succeed in the federal marketplace as a small business; net zero energy and water pursuits; insight into BIM; facility commissioning; contracting in the AOR (a perspective from industry); installation energy reduction initiatives; facility sustainability criteria updates; and how to better develop future engineers.
The unofficial close of the 2014 JETC came at the Annual Society Ball, a black-tie affair, which this year included a red carpet walkway! Nothing like a parade of servicemen and women in full dress to close out a great week of education, networking, mentoring and information-sharing in support of the national defense: the true value of the SAME Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo.
Speaker presentations are available now. To view photos from the 2014 JETC, visit SAME’s Flickr page. If you missed out on all JETC has to offer, then don’t make the same mistake again next year! The 2015 JETC will be held in the great state of Texas, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. See you there!!